The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

High School Sports

December 15, 2012

H.S. wresting: Mifflinburg's Mironenko pins his way to King crown

MILL HALL — Going into Saturday night’s finals of the King of the Mountain tournament, Mifflinburg and Line Mountain totaled four wrestlers vying for titles.

However, a few of their competitors had something to say about the who would win goal medals. As it turned out, the only champion from either of the two squads was the biggest member of both, Mifflinburg junior heavyweight Nazar Mironenko.

After advancing in Friday’s action with a bye and a 5-0 shutout, Mironenko picked up the pace Saturday and won his title by registering three falls.

Mironenko began his busy day with a fall in 5:01 over Reynolds’ Gene Ringers. He followed that up with a deck job of Trevor Stover of Biglerville in the semifinals, before bringing down the curtain on the tournament with a fall in 1:29 over long-time friend Garrett Poorman of Bellefonte.

Following the bout, Poorman and Mironenko could be seen standing matside chatting with each other.

“We are good friends, and since we are double-A and they are triple-A that helps a lot in our friendship,” Mironenko said. “He is obviously a good friend of mine and we have met each other multiple times so we have grown close. It is definitely a big help for me to get into their mat room and for him to get into ours since we don’t compete against each other in the post-season and it makes it nice to have a good practice partner on top of the many I already have.”

In the title bout, the two were fencing with the arms when they went to the mat, trying to throw each other. In jostling for position, Morinenko got Poorman off balance and, with an upper-body throw, was able to put the Bellefonte heavyweight on his back and eventually gain the fall.

“I shot in and missed completely,” said Morinenko. “When that happened, he came up with an underhook and tried hipping into me. When I felt that coming, I hipped back into him and he happened to fall on his back and I worked him for the fall from there.”

Not as fortunate as were two of Mironenko’s teammates, Cole and Ty Walter at 132 and 170 pounds, respectively.

In the quarterfinals, Cole tossed a 3-0 shutout at Bethlehem Catholic’s Lee Todora at 132 while Ty was five points better than Nick Cortopassi of Bethlehem Catholic for an 8-3 win.

In the semis, the Walter brothers kept things rolling as Cole defeated Josh Decauter of Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy by a 6-4 count, while Ty dominated Tyler Lieberum of Biglerville for a 10-3 win.

Needing just one more win to claim an individual crown, both Walter brothers fell just short. Cole dropped a tough 3-1 decision to defending state champion Jason Nolf of Kittanning, while Ty took DuBois’s Tom Sleigh to overtime before falling 6-4 in sudden victory.

“I knew it was going to be a tough match so I just went out there and tried to wrestle my match,” said the younger Walter. “Although I came up a little short, it gives me something to work toward. I need to get that match back for Hershey. If I meet him again I am going to try to push him and get more of my shots out. I would definitely try to put some points on the board early in the match.”

The Wildcats entered Saturday’s competition with another pair of wrestlers in Cooper Wagner (120) and Clark Wagner (138) in the consolations.

Unfortunately for the Wagners, both came up short in their first consi matches. Cooper was pinned in 1:43 by Isaac Underhilll of Mifflin County, while Clark fell by a fall in 1:12 to Jasper Hankey of Biglerville.

Line Mountain entered the second day of the tournament with three wrestlers still alive, two in the championship brackets and one more in the wrestlebacks.

In the quarterfinals, the Eagles went 1-for-2, Seth Lansberry making his way to the semifinals with a 5-2 win over Josh Ortman of Parkland, while Newman wasn’t as fortunate as Lansberry when he dropped an 11-3 major decision to defending state champion Ethan Lizak of Parkland.

Newman later dropped out of the tournament with a 7-1 loss to Nate Newberry of Biglerville, while the third Eagle, Erik Smeltz, dropped his only bout of the day by a 4-1 count at the hands of Shane Marshall of DuBois to finish out of the money.

In the semis, Lansberry was pushed to the final buzzer by Ty Haines of Redbank Valley before he survived with a 2-1 win, but Lansberry couldn’t overcome a big move by two-time state champ Mikey Raccioto of Pen Argyl that resulted in an 8-2 loss.

“We were just wrestling around and he threw a leg in and when I tried to stand up right away, he was able to take me back,” explained Lansberry. “I knew he was a two-time state champ and he has real good hips. I wasn’t doubting myself that I could win the match, but I knew what I was up against so I just went out there and gave it all I had.”

Although he lost to Mironenko in the finals by a fall, Bellefonte’s Poorman won the award for the most falls in the least amount of time by decking four opponents in a cumulative time of 6:14.

Finishing as the top three teams in the tournament were Bethlehem Catholic (177.5), Parkland (128) and Cumberland Valley (125.5), while Mifflinburg finished 11th with 97.5 points and Line Mountain wound up 30th of 33 teams with 38.5 points.

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